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By Michael James LeClair

 
The Lunenburg High boys’ soccer team kicked off the 2017 fall season with a loud boom on Tuesday evening.

 The Blue Knights opened the campaign by welcoming Hudson High School to the Lunenburg Field Turf and proceeded to dominate the Hawks as they picked up a 5-2 victory under the lights and before an energized crowd.
 The win for the Knights is just the way first-year head coach Andrew Christensen and his squad wanted to begin a tough seven-day stretch to open the season. Lunenburg hit the road Thursday evening to travel to South Ashburnham to take on the host Spartans of Oakmont Regional before returning home for a match on Monday, Sept. 11 for a contest with the visiting Patriots of North Middlesex Regional.

 “It’s great to get that first win of the season,” said Christensen following Tuesday’s win. “I’m very pleased with the way the kids came out and played tonight. There were bouts of fatigue in the second half but that’s to be expected in the first game of the season.”

 Christensen replaces Mike Gutzler, who stepped down during the offseason.  
 Last year, the Knights began the season winning three of their first five matches before dropping five of their next eight. Sitting at 5-5-2 Lunenburg had to battle to qualify for the Central Mass. Division 3 Tournament. Following a 0-0 tie with Littleton on October 17.

Lunenburg needed to win three of its last four matches to earn a berth into sectionals and that’s just what it did.

 The stay in the postseason was short one for the Knights however as dropped a 2-0 decision to host Tyngsborough in the first round to finish the season with an 8-8-3 overall record.

 “We have a lot of younger underclassmen that are new to the team and they’re still in the process of learning their roles and I’m still learning where to play them so we can be successful,” said Christensen. “It’s a solid group we have this year that wants to learn and keep improving.”

 As for Tuesday night, the Knights did their best to try to erase that defeat from last November from their memories.

 Lunenburg offense struck quickly in this one as it struck for a pair of goals in the matches first three minutes. Peter Hennessy got the party started during the first minute of action. Just 56 seconds in, Hennessy as he beat Hudson goalkeeper Kyle Anderson with a scoring bid from inside the box. The tally was set up by Etienne Tenie, who connected with a pretty pass. Tenie was credited with the assist.  

 Lunenburg doubled its lead only 1:08 later during the third minute of action. Tenie got into the scoring act with his first of the season. The unassisted tally made it 2-0 in favor of the home team.

 Eric Christensen added an insurance goal during the 28th minute and Lunenburg held what appeared to be a commanding 3-0 as the two squads approached the half hour mark.

 “One of the things we talked about before the game was we wanted to come out hard and set the tone and make the other team react,” said Christensen. “I think the guys responded really well to the challenge.”

 The Hawks refused to go quietly as they chipped away with a pair of goals to climb right back into the contest.



For the rest of this article, pick up a copy of The Lunenburg Ledger on shelves now. 
Blue Knights soccer season opens with win against Hudson
 Celebrating Lunenburg athletic legacies 
The Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet will be held October 8
Submitted to The Ledger

The Lunenburg High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee will be holding the 2017 LHS Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Banquet on Sunday, Oct. 8 at the Devens Common Center, 31 Andrews Parkway in Devens.  
Being inducted this year are the following teams and athletes:

Jeffery A. Branham 
Class of 2001
 Jeff Branham, a member of the graduating class of 2001, participated in multiple sports throughout his high school career: football, soccer and winter/spring track. 
His greatest achievements were realized on the gridiron. He had an outstanding senior year being a co-captain of the team and ranking first in scoring and fourth in rushing in Central Mass. He was also selected as an All-Star by both the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise and the Worcester Telegram.  
As a tailback and safety, he ran for 1,828 yards and led Central Mass with a school record of 35 touchdowns and 217 points. Described as an outstanding athlete and scholar he was also a member of the National Honor Society and both the Latin and Weightlifting Club.

Sarah Jane “Mindy” Francis Freedman 
Class of 1972
Mindy graduated in 1972 from Lunenburg High School. While attending high school, Mindy was an outstanding athlete on numerous teams.
She was a member of the varsity field hockey team for six years, from 1966-1971. She was also a co-captain of the field hockey team in 1970 and 1971. During the fall seasons of 1969-1971 she was also a member of the football cheering squad and was a co-captain. in 1971.
The Girls’ Varsity Basketball team was home to Mindy during the winter season of 1969-’72. She served as co-captain in 1972.
During the spring the softball team was also a part of her athletic career from 1969-1972. She was a co-captain of the softball team in both 1971 and 1972. Mindy was an outstanding scholastic athlete during her time at LHS.

Jeffrey R. Toothaker 
Class of 1989
Jeff Toothaker, a member of the class of 1989, excelled at both basketball and baseball. 
Although the basketball team finished with a 7-13 record his senior year, he possessed a deft shooting touch and was one of the top offensive players on the squad. 
He truly excelled on the baseball diamond. Over the course of his four year baseball career, his team-high batting average surpassed .400 in each season's campaign. 
In addition to his skill with the bat, he was known to be an ace pitcher; helping lead the team to a 17-5 record his senior year.  
For his contribution Jeff was chosen as the Most Valuable Player in the Wachusett League Small School Division and was also chosen as a Worcester Telegram Central Mass. All-Star.

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For the rest of this article, pick up a copy of The Lunenburg Ledger on shelves now.